University of Memphis president to retire - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

University of Memphis president to retire

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(File photo) (File photo)

(WMC-TV) - When she retires June 30, Dr. Shirley Raines says she is moving to Oak Ridge, Tennessee to be near her grandchildren.

She says the University of Memphis will be in excellent hands when she leaves, regardless of who takes over the university's presidency.

"I believe the university if poised to keep right on the trajectory that it is on now," Dr. Raines said.

On this, her 68th birthday, University of Memphis President Dr. Shirley Raines says her retirement will be bittersweet.

Dr. Raines is in her 12th year as president.

She is the first female to hold that job.

Raines says she always wanted to come back to Memphis to work.

"We have more students, more honors, the largest honors program in the state, a very strong emerging leaders program," Dr. Raines continued.

The University of Memphis has over 22,000 students and 2,500 faculty members.

Dr. Raines says she is most proud of the people she works with and says her biggest challenge these past years has been funding.

"State support for higher education has gone down and tuition has had to go up to offset that and we have to raise more money privately. We're finishing up a 250 million dollar campaign," Raines added.

Dr. Raines says the right people are in the right places at the university to keep things moving smoothly after her retirement.

"One of the things I wanted to do before I left is to be sure we had a new athletic director in place, a new football coach in place, a new Provost on board, two new deans," said Dr. Raines.

Dr. Raines says she wants to be remembered for her renewed partnerships with community colleges in the area, her strong internship program, and the new buildings on campus including the FedEx Institute, the new student center, and the new downtown law school.

Raines says the state chancellor of education will name the University of Memphis' interim president Tuesday afternoon.

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